Changing Times, Changing Brands
By Richie Wirjan — Founder, CEO of Credens
Over the last few decades, progressive changes have occurred in almost all aspects of life. Technology has transformed the economy, politics, science, culture, and any other spheres as well as markets. Empowered by innovation, we could see globalization has taken over the nature of doing business and most entrepreneurs must adapt as fast as possible. Brands suddenly have to elevate their game because the competition’s landscape is not just between the locals, but also regional or even worldwide since e-commerce impact. Along with all changes, there is one big question: Should we change the brand entirely to adapt and satisfy our customer meanwhile pursuing to become the market leader?
DEFINITELY YES. I believe that one of the most important key to sustain your business is not only focusing on your brand but your customer. To further explain, I summarize my opinion into 2 points on why brand must change and how we could overcome challenges.
1. The customer behaviors have changed and so they way we market our products / services.
Most entrepreneurs believe that their products and advertisements dictate the market. Moreover, they also believe that high awareness equals to winning the market. However, Over my personal conversations with CMOs and research partners, I could conclude that brand awareness is only a part of the whole brand performance. But the question that we must ask initially is whether the growth of your brand awareness is in line with the growth of sales and customer loyalty. The easiest way to answer that question is to see whether your social media growth leads to sales and advocacy to their peers.
Back to 1960–1980s, the era of advertising, Brands have power and authority to command the market but nowadays customer is smarter. Before they listen to your ads (not even before purchasing), they will ask their friends, “hey, have you seen this ad?” and what happened next mostly depends on their peers’ experience towards the brand. Think beyond — don’t just focus on your target market. Set your sight on their peers and influencers around your target market. Check whether your campaign or messages is relevant to them.
A lot of times we are too busy to control our internals until we don’t recognize that changes also occurred outside the office. Start knocking your customer’s door and ask why they prefer to purchase your competitor products and services.
2. To stay relevant means to understand the real customer’s problem — not just adding new feature in our products / services.
Disruption — the magic word that make Startups rise beyond conventional business. That is the kind of mentality which is planted in young mind. We could see that in every startup workshops, incubator programs, and when investors want to fund a startup, was usually started by these question: “who’s your customers? and what’s the ACTUAL problem that you would like to solve?”. That is why, many startups around the world start to chew the market share pie from top brands (they didn’t eat the whole cake, just a bit of it yet makes conventional businesses trembled).
Most big brands have certain due date to launch new products; However by continuously being in pursue of completing deadline, sometimes we forgot to really listen on our customer’s deepest insight. Nowadays, customers received more exposure from various brands wherever and whenever they are (while commuting, eating, browsing the internet, playing with their smartphone) — then WHY should your customers listen to your brand while there’s a lot of option out there? or worse, when you don’t even try to ask them? The more you understand your customers (their behavior, daily habits, what’s they like and hate, and more), the higher their acceptance towards your products and services.
We are not the only one who play in this market. Some smaller players — leaner, faster, agile — have slowly or even undetectably enter our field. Always pay attention and prepared for changes.
To entrepreneurs, CEOs, CMOs, Brand Managers, and Marketers wherever you are:
When it comes to changes, there’s only 2 choices: Whether we adapt with the changes or we’re being forced to follow the changes. Nothing fancy in Branding and marketing industry when it comes to understanding your customers — It’s more about opening our ears wider rather than speaking unreasonably too much on marketing and promotion. To have a stronger brand performance is beyond than focusing on brand awareness aspect — it’s about being the center of our customer’s life and how we can help their life to be better.
Evaluate the efficiency of each brand touch points that you have with your customers: What’s missing? Which touch points we could improve? Which touch points should we drop?
Learn how Credens helps brands be highly engaging and relevant by mapping out every point of customer journey.